Luxury Hotels ... are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by edekba, Jul 17, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Some background I guess is required before my question is presented. I mostly stay @ Sheratons/Westins/4P etc (can you guess what program I am loyal to? ;)) I find that they are great for what a hotel should be. Clean, comfortable & affordable.

    Now with that being said, I am getting married in Sept & our honeymoon is in Nov. I will use two examples, but the question is pretty broad in general.

    I have 3N booked at the Radisson Blu Style Hotel, Vienna on points. If I paid cash it would be ~160 Euros/Night. Alternatively I also booked a C&P at the Hotel Bristol (230 Euro/6000 SPG + $110) & the Hotel Imperial (399 Euro/10k SPG + $180) just because I can & I didn't want the C&P availability to go away.

    Additionally I have 3N booked at the Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris again on points. If cash it would be 255 Euros/Night. Again I have a C&P at an SPG property just because, but in this case it is at the Prince de Galles which goes for 750 Euro ($1000+)/Night but with C&P it is 15k + $275/night.

    So ... what can the SPG's luxury collection property offer over the Radisson Blu properties that make it worth it to use C&P over 0 cash & all points at the Radisson Blu hotels? Alternatively ... what do people expect from staying at a hotel that costs over $1000/night? I honestly don't understand & would like to educated.
     
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  2. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Its your honeymoon so start off by ditching the "affordable" which = cheap, part of your criteria.:)

    I have no experience with the Paris property but both the Bristol and the Imperial are two of the best hotels in one of my favorite cities in Europe, Vienna.
    They are luxury properties in the "old style" with baroque furnishings (down the massive room keys which must weigh two pounds but fortunately you will leave at the front desk).

    My last stay was at the Bristol on points and we got upgraded to junior suite and as a SPG Plat given free breakfast at one the most impressive buffets I have seen in Europe (would have set us back 30+euros per person)
    As a plat amenity we also received a bottle of Austrian wine and an Imperial torte ( which I prefer to the more famous Sacher torte)
    Concierge service was superb with two great restaurant bookings and reservations for the train to Salzburg.

    Splurge at bit the new wife may be impressed:D
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It's your honeymoon so it should be luxurious if this is your style and what your wife likes. Some dislike the old "grande dame" properties, aka palaces. Some may feel uncomfortable in such settings. Others prefer the more modern trendy style of W, Andaz, etc. It's also legitimate to save the money for an extraordinary meal or bottle or wine or the downpayment on a house or similar things if this is what you want as a couple. IMO you need to figure out what's best for you and your new wife and not just look at how expensive the rooms are.
     
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  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    HAHA i actually started to type cheap but then backtracked.

    I understand what you're saying ... & for once in our lives we can stay that we stayed a hotel that cost $1000+/night.

    However.
    Is actually on our plan within the next 2-3years. But ... spending $1200 total for the 6 nights isn't that big a deal (its not like I would be paying the cash rate) ... and 1200/6 = >$200 which is my normal price threshold for hotel stays anyways.

    Its just I dont understand the difference.
     
  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    It seems to me that if you don't understand the difference then it might not MAKE a difference to you. More money doesn't always mean better. You are asking a bunch of strangers to know what matters to you. As pointed out above some like "classic elegance" others find it stuffy, some want staff to fuss over them, others find this annoying.
    As for the "it's not like we were paying" - points have value just like money. If you spend them on a hotel you can't spend them for, oh, a first class ticket to asia which might have cost 12k!
     
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  6. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I tend not to see a significant difference at the high end. I think it's that I have some minimum criteria (e.g. down duvets and feather pillows, working net, working everything else). Once those are met, we're down to differences in the service and staff, and those may vary more by day of the week or phase of the moon than by property.

    For an occasion such as this, I might try to eliminate likely trouble spots (how are the Radissons rated on Tripadvisor?), but otherwise just go with a good value property. One observation: I've had some underwhelming hotel rooms in Paris; it probably makes sense to poke on the reviews at bit.

    Enjoy the trip. This is a lovely itinerary. Here are some Vienna restaurant recommendations.
     
  7. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I do look at some of those "grand dame" properties as notches in the proverbial belt, so to speak (along with a whole bunch of contemporary/modern/cosmopolitan properties as well). I do expect truly great service from these ultra-expensive properties just as I don't expect that from a 4P. I'm perfectly happy staying in both with the correct set of expectations.

    For your honeymoon, I would stay the place you think you'll be happiest with as little regard as possible to the budget.
     
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  8. infamousdx

    infamousdx Silver Member

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    COMPLETELY agree!
     
  9. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    One of my common refrains in life is, "Don't expect to walk into McDonalds and enjoy a Morton's steak dinner." Of course, the opposite is also true. :D
     
  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Vienna:
    Rad Blu : Rank #50/361 // 86% Approval
    Bristol : Rank#35/361 // 87% Approval
    Imperial: Rank#9/361 // 92% Approval

    Paris:
    Rad Blu : 367/1801 // 84%
    PdG : 375/1801 // 69% (Majority of the reviews were per renovations which were completed in May I think?)

    & Thanks! Our itinerary will be quite special for us. USA -> Vienna -> Paris - > Singapore -> Home. (1N layover in brussels/seoul) all in Business. =) I am quite proud of that.

    As we stand ... we're paying $0 for all of our hotel nights. Location seems okay ... but like I said It just seems as though since I'm not paying a dime for the hotels and they're okay ... should I pay to get the icing on the cake & "get a notch on my belt" as you so elegantly said so. I feel like I should but then it's a question of ... how wise is it? $0 for 13N in good hotels is a pretty darn good job imo.

    I asked myself what do i expect out of a hotel. And honestly ... a clean bed/room that isnt a closet. Location that isn't too far off the beaten path and allows us to walk & explore the city (being close to metro is cool too), has food places nearby or onsite for late night/early morning food binges etc. I've never used a Concierge nor do I need turn down service. I can carry my own bags & I usually do SPG's Make a Green Choice so that they don't have to wash things everyday & waste resources. We keep our room pretty clean.

    Only thing ... I might just do it so I can hit the 50N mark w/SPG. I'm at 39 right now & not sure if work will send me out again ... & w/the wedding/honeymoon there isnt much vacation time left this year.
     
  11. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    It’s your honeymoon do what feels comfortable for you. The Cheapness or Price will have little effect on the experience for some, and a lot of an effect on the experience for others.

    Our honeymoon was about 14 day’s in Belize with only the first few nights booked with a Priceline Radisson, for the rest of the nights we grabbed our duffel bags and got on a bus (or speedboat) to a town and found a hotel. It’s one of our best trips as I would expect most honeymoons to be!
     
  12. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Speaking about the truly best places to stay in Vienna:

    http://www.palais-coburg.com/_en/

    and

    http://www.sacher.com/hotel-sacher-vienna/

    Would love them both, haven't stayed in them, but they're the best hotels in Vienna IMHO. Nevertheless, the OP speaks about Luxury. These are earnest Luxury properties.
     
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  13. Pizzaman
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    Hey, I stayed at a timeshare in Cancun for my honeymoon. Back then, it wasn't the best place I could afford. But, it made the most sense for our honeymoon. No specific notch on my belt, just a good starter place for my wife to experience being out of the country the first time. Sounds like you have a good itinerary for your travel style. I hope it's an awesome honeymoon!
     
  14. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    As many people have stated already, it really depends on what matters to you. We prefer to stay at top luxury hotels for many different reasons. We prefer suites, elegant ambiance, top restaurants, good service and the one thing I don't see mentioned is that sometimes the guests in lesser hotels are not one's we want to be around. There are good and bad in all socioeconomic groups, but in top notch hotels poor behavior is simply not tolerated.
     
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  15. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    One thing I forgot to mention. Tell the hotels well in advance that it is your honeymoon. There is a good chance they will upgrade you or do something special for you.
     
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  16. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I tried that @ the Conrad Seoul/Singpore asking for early checkin (10am or so) and they said we'd have to book a day rate room :(
     
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  17. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Have just read this sentence on Tripadvisor and had to think about your experience regarding early check-in:

    Ibis Hotel review in London.

    IMHO, the above mentioned Conrad Hotels should go out of their way to provide such early check in services for no extra costs, I mean, when the Ibis can, so could Conrad. Yes?
     
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  18. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I arrived at the Conrad Bangkok at 7:30, but my room wasn't ready until 9:30. Of course, they'd upgraded me to a ginormous suite, so I didn't complain.
     
  19. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Good for you. Glad you received a suite at the Conrad BKK.

    The only sad thing is that the OP here hasn't such "luck" at least not with the Conrad Seoul / Singapore.
     
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  20. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    That's what I got from the CSR

     
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  21. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    We had just the opposite experience there a couple of months ago. We arrived very early and were immediately taken to our upgraded suite. I assume being a diamond may have had some impact on that.
     
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  22. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Probably... there are a lot of Gold out there since the HH Reserve came out.
     
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  23. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Not good, especially when considering this will be your honeymoon, a very special time for the two of you.
     
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  24. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I've never been upgraded to a suite in Singapore. Haven't been to Seoul. Was previously a Diamond in BKK and only upgraded one level (not to a suite). So -- out of 5 stays, one upgrade. As a Diamond. YMMV.
     
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  25. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Asking for early checkin in advance vs. Just showing up is quite different.
     
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